Description

    This flown-in-space penlight has been on many adventures.

    Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-8) Flown Grumman Flashlight with Guest Launch Badge. A Grumman Technical Services Inc.-branded penlight that flew on the third mission of the Space Shuttle Challenger, August 30-September 5, 1983. This was the first night launch and landing of the program and it flew the first African-American astronaut, Guion S. Bluford, Jr. The flashlight has a pocket clip and is 4.875" long. Included with it is a signed statement of provenance from Charles Pellegrino on the back of his business card: "Flown on space shuttle/ Challenger, August 1983/ Charles R Pellegrino". Also included is his STS-8 Launch Badge. Overall, very good condition.

    Grumman was a major contractor on the shuttle program. Grumman President George Skurla and Vice President Fred Haise (Apollo 13) flew scientist-author Charles Pellegrino to Florida for the STS-8 flight of the Challenger. After a Grumman penlight that flew aboard mission STS-8 was given to Pellegrino, it remained always at his side during expeditions until September 1991. In 1985 it sailed with him and Titanic explorer Robert Ballard to the hydrothermal vents of the Galapagos Rift. It went into underground vaults and archaeological sites including tombs in China (1987), Egypt (1988), and the buried city of Thera (1988). It's final expedition was the controversial September 1991 exploration of a tunnel under the Western Wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount. This last expedition is described on Page 289 of Pellegrino's 1994 archeology book, Return to Sodom and Gomorrah: "The penlight... was badly worn, having been with me on every expedition since its 1983 flight aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. It revealed a long, empty corridor that stretched beyond the range of my search beam into total darkness... I was about to move in for a closer look when my penlight, for the first time in eight years, gave out. I fumbled for and found the spare in my bag, but a voice behind me called, 'Come out, the Arabs know you are here.'" The penlight has never worked since. Pellegrino will donate a minimum of 10% of his proceeds from the sale of this artifact to the Firefighter's Burn Center. From the collection of scientist and author Charles Pellegrino.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    3rd Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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